Women in Agriculture

Business and leadership pilots launched.

Up to £5 million is to be invested to support women to return to work following a career break.

As part of the Gender Pay Gap Action Plan, the funding will support up to 2,000 women return to work in sectors, including agriculture, where they are under-represented by bringing their skills up to date and providing access to work experience placements to help manage a return to work.

In addition, three pilot training programmes developed by the Women in Agriculture Taskforce, specifically aimed at women living or working in Scottish agriculture, have been launched by Equalities Minister Christina McKelvie ahead of the Royal Highland Show.

Ms McKelvie said:

“We know that women are key contributors to our rural economy. We also know that being a woman in agriculture can be particularly challenging, especially if you have caring responsibilities, develop your business, go to work and look after your family – often in remote or isolated areas.

“It is because we value women in the rural economy so highly, I am pleased to announce the launch of three pilot training programmes aimed at empowering women to be the best they can be – by supporting them to develop their talents, take up leadership roles, and return to work.”

Co-Chair of the Women in Agriculture Taskforce Joyce Campbell said:

“It’s important for all women living and working in Scottish agriculture to access all of the Scottish Government available funded opportunities, so that they can enhance their lives and get the most benefits they can for their businesses. These pilot training sessions will help to develop the next generation of women leaders within the agricultural industry, by providing them with the tools and confidence to excel.”

Rural Economy Secretary and Co-Chair of the Women in Agriculture Taskforce, Fergus Ewing added:

“This Government has a vision for Scotland to become a society where all women and girls are able to fulfil their potential, regardless of where they live or work, and the work of the Women in Agriculture Taskforce is a vital part of this.

“We are committed to investing in women living and working in Scottish agriculture because not only is it the right thing to do, we know that it makes sense. This funding and training pilots are an investment in our greatest asset – the people of rural Scotland – and will create a stronger, more resilient, sustainable rural economy.”


The Gender Pay Gap Action Plan is available to view.  

The three pilots are:

  • ‘Women in Agriculture Leadership Development Programme’ will enable and empower more women living or working in agriculture to develop their abilities, to take up leadership positions within their communities, regions, and at board level across the industry
  • ‘Knowing your Business’ aims to help women involved in agriculture to increase their knowledge, skills, tools and confidence to help improve business performance
  • ‘Be Your Best Self’ which will help women to build more confidence, explore new possibilities and opportunities, and make new connections

More information is available here.


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